Social Justice Film Festival # 6 : Patna

Social Justice Film Festival # 6

17, 18 Feb 2018; Patna, Bihar

Curated by Amudhan R.P.

Screening schedule

17 Feb; Saturday

10 am Inauguration

10:30 Belonging to Untouchable God
Dir: Anuj Kumar; 26 min; Hindi with Eng subtitles; Documentary; India

Story of Ramkali Devi, a dalit woman from Bihar who once was a bonded labourer, now an independent farmer after a long struggle for justice.

11:00 Interaction

11:15 Tea

11:30 Mod
Dir: Pushpa Rawat; 69 min; Hindi with Eng subtitles; Documentary; India

'Mod' is an attempt by the filmmaker at communicating with the young men who hang out at the "notorious‟ water tank in her neighbourhood in Pratap Vihar, Ghaziabad. The water tank is a space that is frequented by the so-called „no-gooders‟ of the locality, a place where they play cricket, play cards, drink and smoke up. When she enters the space with her camera, the boys are curious and at the same time wary of it and her. They sometimes resist, sometimes protest, and at times, open up. As the film unfolds we get a hint of the lives the boys lead and the fragile world they create for themselves at the water tank. 

12:40 Interaction

12:55 Lunch breae

2:00 Delicate Weave
Dir: Anjali Monteiro and KP Jayasankar; 62 min; Kutchi and Hindi with Eng subtitles; Documentary; India

A Delicate Weave, set in Kachchh, Gujarat, India, traces four different musical journeys, all converging in the ways they affirm religious diversity, syncretism and love of the other. Drawing on the poetic and musical traditions of Sant Kabir and Shah Bhitai, as well as the folk traditions of the region, these remarkable musicians and singers bear testimony to how these oral traditions of compassion are being passed down from one generation to the next.

3:05 Interaction

3:20 Framing Democracy 

I) Encountering Injustice: The Case of Meena Khalko
Dir: Maheen Mirza; 14 min; Chattishgarhi, Hindi with English subtitles

The film looks into an alleged encounter of a 15 year old adivasi girl, Meena Khalkho who lived in Village Karcha of Balrampur district of North Chhattisharh. She was killed by the police who alleged that she was a naxalite. Moving between the electronic news coverage of the incident and testimonies of her parents and other people from her village, the film investigates the claims of the police. Sexual violence, the attempt to suppress the truth of meena‟s murder and the impunity of the culprits gradually comes to light. We also get a glimpse into how difficult and long the struggle for justice is in the conflict zones of the country. This film is part of a series of films called Loktantra Hazir Ho produced by the Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS).

II) Meanwhile the killings continue: The Encounter at Rewali Dir: Maheen Mirza; 18 min; Godhi, Hindu with English subtitles

In a combing operation in the Dantewara region of Chattisgarh an adivasi was encountered and killed by security forces. He and his wife had gone to a stream to bathe and collect material to make a baadi and were catching crabs when the security forces opened fire. Budhri, the woman hid behind a tree but Bhima Nuppo was shot and killed. The people from rewali village of which Budhri and Bhima were residents called the local leaders and media to investigate this incident and bring out the unprecedented violence that adivasis living in the area have to face regularly. A rally of about 7000 people set out to seek justice for Budhri and her 5 children. They were stopped and not allowed to go to the Collector office. Negotiations ensued between the people and the administration. The film documents the entire process.

3:55 Interaction 

4:10 Tea break 

4:30 Dammed

Dir: Nandan Saxena, Kavita Bahl; Hindi; 64 min; 2013; Documentary
A current look at the villagers adversely affected by a dam on the river Narmada, as they are denied all rehabilitation or relief.

5:35 Interaction

Day 2; 18 Feb, Sunday 

10 am The Factory 
Dir: Rahul Roy; 120 min; India; Documentary)

147 workers accused of murder and denied bail by the courts for more than two years. The ground
being that granting them bail would send a wrong signal to foreign investors. 2500 workers dismissed. Haryana government hires a top Supreme Court lawyer to prosecute the workers at a daily fee of over Rs.11 lakhs. This is the story of how we produce at India's largest automobile company -- Maruti Suzuki. The film brings together the court case, production process and workers' attempt to form a union to reveal systems of injustice that make laws redundant and conflict inevitable.

2:00 Johar 
Dir: Nilanjan Bhattacharya; Hindi and English 60 min

A large section of the poorest of the poor in India are tribal. To them the word `food‟ means little other than what you eat to survive. Johar: `Welcome to Our World‟ focuses on Jharkhand in eastern India, the home for thirty-two tribal communities.

The film explores the intricate relationship the tribals of Jharkhand have with their forests from where they get a significant portion of their core nutrition and medicinal material. The film also lays how mindless, aggressive development and the government's wrong-headed conservation policies have damaged the tribals‟ relationship with their land and pushed them ever deeper into food insecurity. 

3:00 Interaction

3:15 This is like Gold Only

Dir: Ujjwal Utkarsh; 78 min; Maithili/English/Hindi; Documentary; India

Makhana farming is a specialized and painstaking process practised by farmers of the Mallah community of North Bihar. A species similar to the lotus family, the fox nut plants are cultivated in ponds and their seed of are collected from the bottom of the lake. Through an elaborate process of popping by hand on high heat we get 'makhana' in a state which can be packed and sold. Despite health risks to them, makhana cultivators continue to follow this process. The conventional, gruesomely laborious process has the farmers and their families' lives revolving around it. Due to the seasonal nature of this process, these families live a migratory way of life and almost everybody in the family is involved in the process.

4:35 Interaction

4:45 Gadi Lohardaga Mail
Biju Toppo & Meghnath/2006/India/27mins/Nagpuri with English subtitles

Gadi Lohardaga Mail is a documentation of people‟s memories about a passenger train that ran on the now defunct narrow-gauge tracks till January 2004. The train was historic. In November 1907, Ranchi was brought on India‟s railway map with the Purulia-Ranchi narrow-gauge line. In 1911, it was extended up to Lohardaga. 

The passenger train that ran on it became the lifeline of the people who affectionately nicknamed it “Mail”. Eight years ago, before the train was withdrawn — the line has since been converted into broad gauge — Meghnath and Biju travelled on it with some intellectuals and singers and documented the journey. Among them were the renowned tribal ideologue, late Ram Dayal Munda, and well-known folk artists Mukund Naik and Madu Mansuri who sang numbers in local dialects. 

The film is an emotional journey of travellers who reminisce about the train and the memories associated with it.